One of those evenings where everything landed perfectly.

Review: SWEENEY TODD at Signature Theatre

The art of Flamenco dance has been around since the 15th century. This passionate dance form, when performed properly, can keep an audience entranced from the first note of a flamenco guitar to the last fiery stomp from the dancer.

Renowned flamenco dancer Sara Baras and her company Ballet Flamenco hit the stage of Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater with everything you needed for a spectacular evening of Flamenco dance. Complete with a killer set of musicians, two superb vocalists and of course Baras' dancers and Baras herself, the program entitled Alma had the audience on its feet several times throughout the evening.

Review: SWEENEY TODD at Signature Theatre
The full company of Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras.
Photo by Sofia Wittert.

Alma included many familiar forms of Flamenco including Seguiriya and other dance forms that were infused with Flamenco elements such as Bolero. No matter what the form, Baras' dancers performed everything with the fire and passion that Flamenco requires. The title section which was Bolero form and Alma De Bolero which was Bulería form were just two of the many highlights of the program.

Then of course we had Sara Baras herself in at least three if not more solo turns. After watching her perform, I can totally see why she is so famous. You could see her drive for the art of Flamenco with every fiery step she took. I particularly enjoyed her feature with saxophonist (yes, saxophone in a modern Flamenco show is a thing) Diego Villegas. He improvised all the music in this feature, but it sounded like a truly polished piece of music that he had been working on for years.

Review: SWEENEY TODD at Signature Theatre
L-R Sara Baras and Diego Villegas.
Photo by Sofia Wittert.

Villegas also doubled on the harmonica, another instrument you don't think of for Flamenco, and flute.

Vocalists Rubio De Pruna, Matías López "El Mati" added to the musical passion with strong palmas and overall singing throughout.

You had to admire the musicianship onstage as well. The five-member ensemble were Keko Baldomero (also Musical Director) and Andrés Martínez on guitars, Antón Suárez and Manuel Muñoz "El Pájaro" on lots of percussion and the aforementioned Villegas.

Lighting is a big part of Flamenco when it comes to creating the various moods. Lighting Designer Chiqui Ruiz looks included lots of solid color swatches and some very interesting side lighting effects. Seeing Baras in a single down light showed what Flamenco is in its purest form.

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras: Alma was one of those evenings where everything landed perfectly. It gave you an appreciation for this wonderful art form and of course seeing one of the finest interpreters of Flamenco perform with her company just made things better all the more.

Running Time: One Hour and 45 minutes with no intermission.

Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras: Alma has one more performance this evening March 30th, 2023, in Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater.

Lead photo: Sara Baras. Photo by Santana de Yepes.



In Good Grief: Songs of the Moon and The Unbroken Circle creator Tariq Darrell O’Meally explores how we become more than what we’ve lost. His answer: we must grieve a person as much as we have loved them and balance loss with praise and celebration. The world premiere is the culmination of the 2022–23 Local Dance Commissioning Project.

Studio Theatre Announces Cast of FUN HOME

Studio Theatre has announced the cast of their production of Fun Home, with performances starting June 28. The musical, with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron, is based on the autobiographical graphic novel of the same name by cartoonist and writer Alison Bechdel.

Review: THE CRUCIBLE at Eisenhower Theater

What did our critic think of THE CRUCIBLE at Eisenhower Theater? Choreographer Helen Pickett does in her ballet The Crucible just exactly what Arthur Miller attempted in his 1953 play, her source. Both try to make a new language to express the Salem witch trials of 1692 because those events were too extraordinary for regular English or garden-variety ballet.

Review: SWEENEY TODD at Signature Theatre

What did our critic think of SWEENEY TODD at Signature Theatre? Set in the dark streets of London in 1785, we follow barber Sweeney Todd (Nathaniel Stampley) as he returns from wrongful imprisonment by the horrifying Judge Turpin (John Leslie Wolf).

From This Author - Elliot Lanes

Elliot Lanes has been working in theatre for over 20 years as a PSM, Sound Designer, Board get the idea. He has had the pleasure of working with some of DC's finest artists at venues suc... (read more about this author)


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